Antonita Slaughter shows her old form

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Davis, Kirby lead No. 1 UK

By Josh Cook

In her first start since suffering a “seizure-like” episode, Antonita Slaughter scored 17 points and spearheaded a second-half spurt, leading the University of Louisville women’s basketball team to an 81-66 American Athletic Conference victory at SMU on Sunday.

Slaughter, a 6-foot-1 senior guard, from Shelbyville hit 5 of 12 shots from the field, including 4 of 10 from 3-point range, and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line in Dallas in helping her fifth-ranked Cardinals (18-1, 6-0) to their 11thconsecutive win. She hit a pair of 3-pointers during an 11-0 spurt early in the second half for UofL, which trailed, 35-33, at halftime but outscored the Mustangs, 48-31, after intermission.  

“My teammates always have confidence in me. I’ve been on a little streak where I haven’t hit any, but they just keep encouraging me, and I showed them that I could do it,” Slaughter told The Associated Press. “I’m feeling great.…  I’m getting there.”

It was the fourth game back for Slaughter, a graduate of Christian Academy of Louisville, who collapsed on the bench Dec. 3 during UofL’s 91-49 victory over Missouri State. She returned Jan. 4 against Cincinnati after recovering from a blood clot in her lung.

Slaughter went scoreless but did have five rebounds in 20 minutes in reserve in the Cards’ 62-54 victory at USF on Jan. 12 in Tampa, and she tallied two points and had two steals in 18 minutes in Louisville’s 75-56 victory over Central Florida on Jan. 15 at the KFC Yum! Center.

Against the Mustangs she also grabbed five rebounds in 25 minutes of action.

 “It’s big for our program, it’s big for this ball club,” Coach Jeff Walz told the AP about having Slaughter back in the fold. “She’s felt good conditioning-wise the past two weeks, but there’s a big difference between running sprints and being on the treadmill to getting out there and getting your game legs. When you’ve got to stop and get your composure and knock down a shot, it takes a while. I still think she’s about a week away from getting back into her prime.”

In 13 games Slaughter is averaging 8.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 22.7 minutes.

UofL, which played at Houston on Tuesday night, hosts Memphis at 1 p.m. Sunday.


Davis, Kirby help No. 1 Rifle-cats to victories

Shelby County graduates Connor Davis and Heather Kirby helped the University of Kentucky rifle team to a trio of victories to begin the spring season.

The Wildcats began the new year with a victory (4688-4623) at Ohio State on Jan. 11. For the seventh time this season Davis, a sophomore, led the team in the air rifle with a 593. Meanwhile Kirby, a freshman, shot a 590 for then-second-ranked UK.

Then Saturday, newly minted No. 1 Kentucky beat in-state rival Murray State (4700-4661) in West Point, N.Y.

Davis was second on the team, with a then season-best 588 in the smallbore, and Kirby had a 576. In the air rifle, Davis scored a 590 and Kirby a 589.

On Sunday the Wildcats used a season-high point total in air rifle to shoot down seventh-ranked Army, 4697-4655, at West Point.

Davis led UK in the smallbore with a personal-best 589. Kirby then shot a 590 in air rifle.

The Wildcats will next compete in the Withrow Invitational on Friday in Murray. Davis, however, won’t be there. He is in Munich, Germany with USA Shooting for the 2014 Bavarian Airgun Championships after his standout performance at the 2013 Winter Airgun Championships last month.


Smith, Spalding win 10th in a row

The Spalding University men’s basketball team, which features 2013 Collins graduate Terez Smith, went double overtime to win its 10th consecutive game Monday night.

The Golden Eagles (10-5, 8-0), outlasted host Westminster (Mo.), 85-82, in Fulton, Mo., in a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game. Smith, who has started 11 of the past 12 games, went scoreless in 12 minutes.

Smith, a 6-foot-6 freshman forward who is averaging 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, had five points, three rebounds and one steal in the Golden Eagles’ 87-73 triumph over visiting Eureka on Jan. 9. He was 2-for-3 from the field and 1-of-2 from the free-throw line in 19 minutes. Then, he had one point, three rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot in Spalding’s 63-52 victory over MacMurray on Jan. 11. He was 0-for-2 from the field and 1-of-2 from the free-throw line in 16 minutes. Smith tallied two points, one rebound and one blocked shot in the Golden Eagles’ 79-76 victory over visiting Greenville on Jan. 14. He was 0-for-2 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line in 26 minutes. Then Smith scored two points and had three rebounds in Spalding’s 80-72 win at Fontbonne in St. Louis this past Saturday. He was 0-for-3 from the field and 2-of-2 from the foul line in 11 minutes.

Spalding plays at Webster in St. Louis on Thursday then plays Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill. on Saturday afternoon.


Adams wins again

Centre College senior Travis Adams, a Shelby County graduate, won the 1-meter diving competition as the Colonels finished second in the 5-team Colonel Classic in Danville on Jan. 11. He won with a total of 153.44 points.

He then finished second in both the 1- and 3-meter competitions in Centre’s 124-115 victory over Wittenberg this past Saturday in Danville.

Adams and the Colonels will next take on Asbury on Jan. 31.


Stone contributes for Malone

Brian Stone, a 6-8 sophomore center, continues to contribute for the Malone (Ohio) University men’s basketball team.

He scored four points (on 2-of-4 shooting) and snared two rebounds in 5 minutes in the Pioneers’ Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 86-75 victory over visiting Ferris (Mich.) State on Jan. 9.

Then Stone had four points (on 2-for-4 shooting) and two more rebounds in 7 minutes in Malone’s 87-74 loss to visiting Grand Valley State on Jan. 11 in Canton.

Stone had one rebound in six minutes in the Pioneers’ 98-93 loss at Lake Erie in Painesville, Ohio, on Jan. 16.

Malone (7-7, 5-5) hosts Tiffin on Thursday night before hosting Ohio Dominican on Saturday afternoon.


Wells, Morehead win

Morehead State freshman Aaliyah Wells, a 2013 Collins graduate, and the Eagles ended a 3-game losing streak with a 62-59 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Southeast Missouri on Monday.

Wells, a 5-8 wing who is averaging 2.4 points per game this season, didn’t score in four minutes for Morehead (9-10, 3-3).

Previously she had one rebound in 4 minutes in the Eagles’ 79-58 loss to Eastern Kentucky on Jan. 11, had three rebounds in 9 minutes in Morehead’s 83-75 loss to Austin Peay on Jan. 13 and had one steal in 8 minutes in the Eagles’ 74-52 loss to OVC unbeaten UT-Martin (13-6, 6-0) on Jan. 18.

Morehead next plays at Tennessee State on Saturday in Nashville. Two days later Wells and the Eagles play at Belmont in Nashville.